NECAT Beamline

The Northeastern Collaborative Access Team (NE-CAT) facility at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is managed by Cornell University and consists of seven member institutions:

  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Rockefeller University
  • Yale University.

    Primary funding for this project comes from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) , a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additional financial support for NE-CAT comes from the member institutions.

    NIGMS at a Glance.

    Supported by:

    National Institutes of Health
    National Institute of General Medical Sciences



    NE-CAT’s Policy for General Users at the 24ID-C Beam Line


    1. General Users are responsible to make sure that they are current in all mandatory APS training requirements. APS training must be completed before coming to the beam line.

    2. General Users should follow the mandatory APS dress code (no open-toe shoes, no shorts, no exposed legs).

    3. General Users should read in advance the operation manual for the beam line which is located at

    4. It is user’s responsibility to ensure that all ESAF information have been entered at

    5. All participants from a group must arrive at the start of the time slot for coordinated training at the beam line. The group spokesperson should promptly inform the beam line administrator of any possible delays in arrival. Any beam time cancellation notices should be given at least two weeks before the beam time.

    6. The users are solely responsible for timely arrival at the beam line of all shipped materials, e.g., sample shipping Dewars. The users should prepare the return FedEx label and arrange for FedEx pickup of their dry-shipper.

    7. Each group must send at least two personnel (of which at least one must have prior experience in using synchrotron beam lines) for the entire time slot. Inexperienced users may not operate the beam line alone. Single person operation, except for short periods of time, will be strongly discouraged. If any damage is caused to the beam line components due to improper handling the cost of repair or procurement will be charged to the users. If it is absolutely necessary for a single person to be operating the beam line, that person should notify in advance the NE-CAT support personnel as well as the floor coordinator. (See NE-CAT policy on “Working Alone” at ).

    8. General users should bring to the beam line their own tools necessary for sample manipulation and crystal handling (cryo tongs, crystal wands, forceps, etc). The beam line provides only the cryo-Dewars. and stereo zoom microscope. Any special request for specific tools or use of the chemistry laboratory should be pre-arranged.

    9. Hampton-type base/pins with length 18mm are recommended to be used, although a different length can be accommodated (16-21mm). Litho-loops are strongly recommended. Currently, sample mounting is exclusively performed via use of cryo-tongs. Use of mounting arcs is not permitted.Propane frozen samples must be horizontally mounted. Use of Yale mounts should be pre-arranged.

    10. Five Linux work stations are available for data processing and structure analysis. Commonly used software such as HKL2000, CCP4 suite, solve/resolve, shelx suite, PHENIX, CNS, etc. are available. General users are not allowed to install or copy any software on the beamline computers. Users can bring their notebook computers to the beam line and connect them to the computer network. Static or DHCP IP numbers will be provided. MAC operating systems are not supported. Use of anti-theft locks for notebooks is highly recommended.

    11. General Users must bring to the beam line their own external disk drives to archive their data. Use of USB2/Firewire drives for archiving data is the only way to keep up with the high data flow. Only external hard disks with Linux ext3 format are supported. At least one 300-400GB disk drive is necessary in order to archive one day of data collection.

    12. General Users are required to fill out a short “End of Run” summary form before they finish using the beam line. This form is used to summarize their experiments, their experience using the beam line, and providing any suggestions they may have for improvements.

    13. General Users are required to cooperate with beam line staff in writing a short summary on their projects that used NE-CAT beam lines for inclusion in NE-CAT’s annual report to our funding agency. 

    14. If the use of NE-CAT’s beam line results in a publication, the authors must include information in the acknowledgement. Updated acknowledgement requirements can be found -here-.